Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker

If doing the right things is considered to be effectiveness, then doing things right is essentially being efficient. To be efficient at your job is different than being effective at your job. They do go hand in hand—efficiency can lead to effectiveness—but effectiveness alone cannot create efficiency.

Retaining a sustainable job means being able to perform both efficiently and effectively; an employee who is just one or neither is more expendable than an employee who is both. Because
high-efficiency workers are able to effectively complete tasks in the most efficient way possible, upping your efficiency factor to increase your overall effectiveness is a great place to put focus and become an invaluable team member.

Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker and How To Get There

Ability to focus

Take a look around and determine the parts of your day that are the most efficient. Next consider the times of day and/or areas that you are least efficient. What are the distractions or obstacles preventing you from maintaining focused work?

Consider removing distractions and implementing supports to stay focused and on track. For example, if you
need to make a list and check things off, do so. If you need to keep your cell phone in your car to avoid spending too much time checking it, do so. If music gets your mojo flowing, by all means turn up the beat. The point is to use what makes you most efficient and remove obstacles that distract and prevent you from being your most efficient self.


An efficient employee is one that is well-prepped. You must be organized in order to execute. Plan and prep your day just as a chef would plan and prep before cooking. Do you have all of the necessary ingredients? Do you have a list, or a recipe to follow to ensure your end result comes out “fully cooked?”

Doing the task is the easy part; even the simplest task is difficult if you do not have the tools, knowledge, and preparation required to perform the task. Efficient employees recognize this and don’t waste valuable time on items that should have been prepared ahead of time. When they come to a meeting, they are prepped on the topic, come prepared with questions, stick to an agenda, have a paper and pen ready and don’t waste time trying to find a chair or set up a computer. They wow their fellow employees by being on time, on task and well-prepared.


People are not robots. While the idea of health contributing to efficiency seems like a no-brainer, many seem to find taking care of one’s self at the lower end of their actual priorities. Well-rested, nutritiously fed, physically and mentally healthy employees are more productive. A balanced diet and lifestyle leaves an employee’s tank full so they can be productive over the course of the whole day and are not distracted by emotional or physical distress.

Natural Skill & Desire

Can a square peg really fit in a round hole? No, not even with an obscene amount of grease. Employees perform most efficiently in a position that compliments and fosters their natural desires and/or talents. Highly efficient people know they perform best when their heart and desire is involved.

When a job matches the employee, things flow more smoothly because it’s natural and comfortable. Employment is one of life’s major decisions, though we often neglect to consider it that way. We choose a spouse based on compatibility, and a home based on affordability, but we often neglect our instincts and desires where work is concerned. Highly efficient people—though they may not have that “dream job”—move their focus towards positions and tasks that are better suited for them and push their job in a direction to foster a natural effectiveness and efficiency. It’s not necessarily that they have the “perfect job” for their personality, they just find places to glow and know when to delegate tasks they are not as suited for.

The ability to focus, forethought in preparing, conscious self-care, and a drive to match a job with natural skills and desires are what morphs an effective employee into a high-efficiency worker. Generally, we all are able to be effective and complete a task at hand. But an efficient worker does this, and does it in the most successful and impressive manner possible.

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